How to Pack More Into Your Loft Conversion
Converting a loft can be a great way to create more space, but only if this typically awkward area is optimised
Consult a professional to realise the full potential of your loft space. They’ll also interpret the regulations concerning fire safety, structural integrity and myriad other matters, some of which have implications for the whole house, manipulating these to find solutions that are both practical and stylish. Meanwhile, here are some ideas to inspire your plans.
In the case of a one-storey or tiny house, you may be able to create a mezzanine beneath the roof instead of a fully enclosed loft room. The sense of space will be greatly enhanced and, if you put in skylights, as seen in this example by DMVF Architects, the floor below will benefit from light flooding in from these windows at roof level.
Invest in bespoke units to make best use of storage on your sloping gable wall. Mix cupboards with drawers and open shelves to create storage moulded to your every need.
Forget random access hatches and line your eaves with long runs of useful storage. Flush doors with discreet handles, as seen in this example by Ash Island Lofts, will create the effect of a neutral wall.
What you store will determine the depth of the units. Clothes storage will be happiest in a depth of 60cm. Bear in mind that most garments require a hanging height of just 120cm, a dimension available in the eaves of most compliant lofts.
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Use the rhythm of your roof supports to create niches for baskets or other portable storage, extending into the deepest reaches of the eaves. Tubs on wheels would work well in this room designed by Andrew Paine Architecture, too, allowing every centimetre of precious space to be accessed easily.
Sneak useful shelving into the eaves alongside your bed, as seen in this scheme by myhome. A slot just 20cm deep will suffice for paperbacks. The structure of your roof will determine where you can fit such shelving. Think of it as moulding the space available to suit your needs.
Create a cosy sleeping nook where the roof is lowest. Frame the nook so it looks like a hole in the wall, as seen here. Or build a platform for the bed with storage drawers within. What better place to recreate a ship’s cabin than a loft.
Line the eaves with a series of individual sleeping alcoves for the ultimate sleepover venue – great for tiny guests or for a holiday home. Do as Little Design House has done here and add a simple shower room where the ceiling is highest to create a self-contained visitors’ suite.
Clad your sloping ceiling with painted timber boarding to maximise the sense of space and reflect precious light. It will also add bags of character to the room.
A window in the gable wall, combined with skylights in the roof, will flood your loft with light. In a town or city, your loft may well be the brightest room in the house – and, perhaps, the room with the best view.
If you have a pitched roof, you’ll want to locate doors and passageways where the ceiling is highest. Line the route to the shower or bathroom with wardrobes on either side to create a walk-through closet.
The staircase to your lofty perch can impinge negatively on the level below, almost cancelling out the gain in space made in the course of the conversion, so explore ways it can be a positive addition.
A carefully placed skylight above the stairs will allow natural light to cascade down to the floors below. Clear glass balustrades will enhance the flow of light, too. And this area can be another good place to tuck storage, so if possible, add a wall-mounted cupboard or shelves for anything from books, as seen here, to bed linen.
Are you planning a loft conversion – or keen to enhance the one you have? Which of these tips would work in your space? Share your photos and thoughts in the Comments.